Plane crash in Romania kills at least 11, including air force colonel

A Romanian military plane crash near the Tuzla Romania Airport by the Black Sea has killed 11 people, including air force Col. Nicolae Jianu, and injured three more, the Ministry of Defense said Monday.

Shortly after takeoff around 5:40 p.m. local time, the Antonov 2 plane with five air force crew members and nine navy paratroopers on board suddenly lost altitude and hit the ground, bursting into flames.

The plane belonged to the Romanian air force application school Aurel Vlaicu in Boboc. Jianu was the commanding officer there and a flight instructor, the Defense Ministry said.

The AN 2 took off from the Tuzla airfield for a regular training flight, the ministry said.

The survivors, an airman and two sailors, have been recovered and taken to a hospital, a ministry spokesman said.

The minister of national defense has appointed a commission to investigate the crash, and he and the chief of general staff have expressed their deepest sorrow for the loss of the troops and conveyed their condolences to the grieving families, according to a ministry statement.

Jianu was married, with two children.